September 23rd, 2010

Kevin Thompson

International intellectual property attorney

Member, Davis McGrath LLC

Author of legal blog Cyberlaw Central

Five-time host of Blawg Review: #42, #93, #144, #213, #256


Today we’re tweeting with Chicago IP attorney, blogger and passionate proponent of Towel Day @cyberlaw

Thanks for the opportunity, Lance. I do know where my towel is! :)

  1. @cyberlaw thank you for joining us today on Twitter. Tell us: who is @cyberlaw?
    I am Kevin Thompson, a member of the firm @davismcgrath in Chicago, IL. I am also a husband, father of 3 boys, and friend.
  2. Tell us about your law practice.
    I practice Internet, copyright, and trademark law. I help many individuals & businesses with international trademarks too.
  3. What type of clients do you represent?
    Our clients range from individuals to small & large businesses. We help them protect their most valuable assets online & off
  4. What would you say is the single most important legal issue affecting those individuals and businesses?
    The hot topic is online defamation, with so many small businesses going online and getting unearned negative reviews.
  5. Imagine that’s a very big problem…. What do you tell every new client before you start working for them?
    After “Hello”, I tell them that we work with them to provide the best service in the most cost effective manner possible.
  6. Tell us about one of the more significant client representations you’ve had.
    This year we helped a small local business protect its brand against a competitor, from C&D letter to lawsuit to settlement.
  7. Congrats on a great result! Why do your clients hire you?
    Clients hire me because they trust me, they know I can help them, and that I can do so without breaking the bank.
  8. What’s the most active area of your practice at the current time? Is that typical?
    Trademark applications and clearance of new marks keep me busy. That’s typical, as brands need protecting in any economy.
  9. Indeed…. What’s the next big frontier of IP law? Who will be most affected by it?
    As we expand into more global markets, clients will need protection in more foreign countries as well as the USA. (1/2)
    Small and medium businesses will be most affected when their brands are already taken overseas and can’t be registered. (2/2)
  10. How well do current laws (eg DMCA) protect IP rights? Are additional protections needed? How is the law evolving?
    The DMCA works well for some copyright holders, but for others it is merely protection for an outdated business model. (1/2)
    Better codification of fair use would be appreciated to eliminate some of the judicial gray area. Changes are slow. :) (2/2)
  11. How do you describe what you do to people you meet at a cocktail party?
    I help individuals and businesses protect their most valuable assets, both online and off.
  12. When did you become active on Twitter? What were your objectives then? Have they changed?
    I joined Twitter in May of 2008. It took me a while to figure out Twitter, but now I love it. Tweetdeck helps. :) (1/2)
    My objectives are to build relationships and let people know of interesting articles in my field. Same obj. all through (2/2)
  13. You blog at Cyberlaw Central (http://bit.ly/adZ51o). Who do you write it for? Why should they read it?
    I write for those interested in the “big picture” issues of the Internet, how it affects us, and the law. It’s fun to write.
  14. It shows…. You also have a Facebook page for your blog (http://bit.ly/drHasy). What’s your read on Facebook for lawyers?
    Facebook has been an interesting experiment. I try to keep my personal profile separate from the blog’s page. (1/2)
    I like the advice from John Jantsch (@ducttape) – Facebook is one more outpost leading people to the blog. And me. (2/2)
  15. Makes sense…. What specific impact on referrals / client engagements, if any, have you realized from Web 2.0 activities?
    I’ve received some good referrals from lawyers who needed local counsel, knew me and knew we were cost effective. (1/2)
    I’ve also had happier clients who knew their lawyer was a real person who could strike up a conversation about #DrWho. (2/2)
  16. Again, makes perfect sense… Let’s switch gears: What’s the most significant issue currently facing the legal profession?
    The death of old bus. models. Biglaw vs Solo/Small Firms with Alt fee arrangements & providing more cost effective services.
  17. What will the legal landscape look like in 10 years?
    Small firms/solos will dominate due to their ability to be cost effective in providing tremendous service to happier clients
  18. What would you do if you weren’t a lawyer?
    I’d be involved with computers in some fashion. Btwn undergrad & law school I worked in software sales for @UWDoit #badgers
  19. How do you want to be remembered?
    Thks 2 #7habits, I know I want to be remembered as a human being who did his best for his family, his clients and the world.
  20. What do you do when you’re not working?
    I enjoy Sci Fi TV (#Dr Who, #BSG, #Firefly), reading, and playing with my boys. These days, lots of soccer and scouts. :)
  21. What advice can you pass along to lawyers currently under- or unemployed due to the economic crisis?
    Hang in there! Remember you’re in a service industry, so serve the clients you have well. It’ll get better. (1/2)
    For those without clients, consider pro bono service to get experience. Try helping the #EFF, for example. (2/2)
  22. Our final question for you: what advice do you have for people going to law school today?
    I tell them to read Outliers by @Gladwell, put in 1000 hours and be prepared when opportunity comes. And to have a towel. :)

Yes, I’m convinced that a towel is good to have on hand. Thanks very much for a great interview; I enjoyed it very much!

Thanks, Lance. It was fun! So long, and thanks for all the fish!

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One Response to “@cyberlaw”

  1. Twitterview by @22twts | Cyberlaw Central on September 24, 2010 4:51 pm

    [...] The transcript of the interview can be found here. [...]

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